Sydney, Sept 9: A nine-year-old Indian-origin boy has been named as Australia's best speller after he won the first edition of "The Great Australian Spelling Bee" contest, the media reported on Wednesday.
Anirudh Kathirvel claimed the prize after he rightly spelled words such as exorbitant, continuum, Guernsey, ricochet and camaraderie during the competition on September 7, Herald Sun newspaper reported.
Kathirvel beat his five opponents Harpita, Harrison, Marko, Mica and Grace for the title and 50,000 Australian dollars ($35,000) education scholarship.
In the first challenge, Speed Spell, a fast-paced spelling bee, another Indian-origin participant Harpita and Marko were knocked out.
The next round saw Harrison and Mica losing, sending Kathirvel and Grace to the final round.
After a tense fight, Kathirvel came out on top after Grace stumbled on the word "ratatouille".
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"I need to rub my eyes and see if this is a dream! Rub, rub, rub - nope!" Kathirvel exclaimed.
"He is a very down-to-earth boy," Kathirvel's mother Sujatha said, adding: "All the children on the show were very supportive of each other even though they were competing. They have become good friends."
Kathirvel said Albert Einstein is his hero and dubbed the competition as "nerve-racking".
"I was nervous at first but I knew that nervousness would only make me let myself down so I pushed it away," he said.